Madison Park always knew she wanted to major in social work and knew CSU was the place to begin. In addition to her classes, Park has found internships to extend her learning beyond campus.
Park, a rising sophomore from Highlands Ranch, Colorado, “came to CSU because I love Colorado and wanted to stay in state, and I immediately fell in love with CSU’s campus.”
As someone who believes in reaching out and exploring her interests, she has found many opportunities to do so. “I want to work with abused and neglected kids,” said Park, who has already secured two internships during the past year.
Advocates for Children
This past semester Park served as an intern for Advocates for Children, a nonprofit serving abused and neglected children in Arapahoe, Douglas, Elbert, and Lincoln counties with a team of Court Appointed Special Advocates—known as ‘CASAs’—who are trained volunteers from the community.
“I was responsible for basically whatever needed to be done,” said Park, “along with observing court and taking notes. I was learning how the family court system works for abuse and neglect cases and how to use their database system to log all the cases and update them.”
This internship experience provided important new direction for Park’s career ambition: “It has secured the idea that I want to become a Guardian Ad Litem one day.”
Through that internship, she made a connection for another opportunity this summer. “While working there I met Stacey Sanders, who runs the nonprofit Elevating Connections,” Park said. The community resource organization is dedicated to reuniting siblings separated in foster care.
Camp to Belong
At her summer internship, Park is assisting with Camp to Belong, a program for siblings separated in foster care to have playful bonding time together in a summer camp setting.
Park is looking for other interested students to join her to be camp counselors from August 4-11. “It would be great for social work students interested in getting 100+ volunteer hours for their master’s program,” Park said. “Bachelor’s students can do it too since the age requirement is 18.”
Park encourages other students not to hesitate in looking for internships. “The advice I have for anyone looking for an internship is to just reach out and see what you can find,” she said. “The experience I am gaining and the connections I am making are invaluable.”
For more information about student internships in the School of Social Work, visit the department’s Field Education webpage or contact the main office at 970-491-6612.